The first thing Noela felt was the painful throbbing on the side of her head. The next thing her senses touched was gentle sound of of water droplets, followed by the soft illumination of candles, revealing her Sai and Chuwys Nunchucks sitting far at the other end of the cave. Attempted movement revealed her entire body to be tied and restricted in a way she became very impressed with. To her left she heard Chuwy himself, murmur in unconsciousness as his eyes stayed closed and head lolled to his side.
As Chuwys eyes began to open and a groan escaped his lips, footsteps alerted Noela of the arrival of a visitor, or rather, the host to their unwilling party.
She strode in with clothes so black they looked to be woven from shadows themselves. She walked with elegance and grace, her red hair brilliant against the darkness of her clothes, another flame among the candles. Chuwy simply stared, his face expressionless. Her face had not changed since yesterday, still smooth and beautiful, but a hint of cruelness had found its way onto it, or perhaps, it had always been there.
She turned to Noela and Chuwy, a smile parting her lips.
“Do you recognise this place?” She said, dramatically looking around the cave, before turning back to look directly into Noelas eyes.
“Well, even if you weren’t gagged, I can already predict your answer. Hunters such you two never care about such things do you?”
“This Cave belonged to a beautiful black beast who ruled the sky and forests here. She had arrived here peacefully months ago, hunting and protecting her young undisturbed since then. At least until she met with 2 desperate hunters, basking in the success of their slaughter.” They woman in black picked up the sai and twirled in between her fingers. She then threw the sai into the wall, a candle sliced along its way. She turned to face Chuwy, regaining her composure.
“I am Shiala, third daughter to Deaths Whisperer Raihole, here by his command to hunt and find the party foolish enough to steal from the Hand of Cain” She pulled out the sai embedded into the walL and brought it onto Noelas’ throat. “Instead of killing the foolish party, in his great mercy, our patriarch had chosen instead to give you a task.”
Shiala pulled out two collars from her pockets and placed them onto the necks of the pair. “These are cursed collars. Don’t bother trying to cut, tear or break them, they were made during the time of the Vellune and has been unbroken since. Ground rules, never mention our involvement and stay on task. You’ll also be given a caretaker of course; these collars will ensure you do as he says. Don’t give me that look. Anyway, you two have been tasked to find the Black Star.”
Chuwy raised an eyebrow.
“You don’t need to know what it does,” She continued, “simply know it is now in the hands of a man too dangerous to be kept in check. Steal it from him and you will be… generously pardoned.”
She patted Chuwy on the head and walked away. “I’m sure you have heard of the death of the last two dying Everhigh Trees?” She said stopping at the edge of the dark side of the cave. “This is related. When you wake up next, you will find yourselves in Isenpest. Find the old man and get back our Black Star. Oh and if you need a clue on how to find him, just follow the dead.”
The last thing Noela and Chuwy saw was Shiala vanishing into the shadows before the darkness gripped them as well, accompanied by a sharp pain on their heads.